Calcium-Rich Foods for Better Bone Health
The 20 Highest Calcium Vegan Foods
When you think of calcium-rich foods, milk is probably the main one that comes to mind. And while milkisa great vehicle for bone-building calcium—it packs 280 mg per cup—you don't have to do dairy to get enough calcium (you need 1,000 mg if you're under 50, 1,200 mg if you're 50 or over). Click through for the 20 vegan foods highest in calcium.
The article The 20 Highest Calcium Vegan Foods originally ran on RodalesOrganicLife.com.
Calcium: 79 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
The crisp white or green stems of bok choy remain crisp when cooked and, with the dark green leaves, are rich in calcium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Bok choy is perfect in Asian recipes such as Chinese Vegetables in Parchment. Baby varieties grow fast and are great for sautéing whole.
Calcium: 82 mg per 1-ounce serving
Perfect to snack on, almonds are rich in protein, healthy oils, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium. Oil-roasted almonds contain the most calcium; raw, honey-roasted, and dry-roasted contain almost as much. Toss sliced almonds on salads and into rice dishes, or try this Almond Brittle for a special treat.
Calcium: 96 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
These versatile, mild beans are easy to add to your diet to boost your calcium, protein, and fiber intake. Toss them into soups, mash some for a sandwich spread or dip for veggies, or season them with your favorite salad dressing and serve on a bed of greens for a super-easy and delicious meal. You can even use mashed beans in brownies as a substitute for some of the fat.
MORE:How To Grow Beans
Calcium: 102 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
A number of tropical starchy root vegetables are sold as as taro, but Tahitian taro, which tends to be shaped more like white potatoes than like sweet potatoes, is the real calcium champ. It is increasingly available in supermarkets across the US and can be substituted for white potatoes in recipes. Make them into Homemade Potato Chips, or try them roasted in the oven or even boiled and mashed.
Calcium: 106 mg calcium per ½ cup (cooked)
Freshly shelled cowpeas (aka black-eyed peas, field peas, or crowder peas) are a tasty vegetable in their own right. If you're lucky enough to find them in your local market or grow them in your garden, try them simmered with carrots, celery, onion, and garlic until tender.
Calcium: 114 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
This weed is both tasty and loaded with calcium and protein, as well as vitamins A and C. In fact, it's one of 8 Weeds You Can Eat.
Calcium: 122 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
Nopales are the fleshy leaves of the prickly pear cactus. When cooked, they have a slightly tart flavor and a crisp but slightly sticky texture, like okra. They are cut into cubes or strips and used in stews and tacos, served hot as a vegetable, or eaten cold in salads. High in minerals, especially manganese and calcium, nopales are sometimes used to help manage blood sugar.
Calcium: 138 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
One of the most commonly eaten greens in warm climates, amaranth's tender shoots and young leaves can be substituted for spinach in any recipe, or try simmering them in natural coconut milk for an exotic treat.
MORE:Call Of The Wild (Greens)
Calcium: 142 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
If you like foods with a little bite, you'll love cooked mustard greens. Try them sautéed with toasted sesame oil, or whip up a mustardy pesto and serve it over pasta (leave out the cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute).
Calcium: 188 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
Basically a nonheading cabbage, collards offer a lot more nutrition because each leaf is exposed to the sun. They are terrific chopped and stewed with onion, tomatoes, garlic, and hot pepper, or use them instead of cabbage leaves to make stuffed cabbage rolls.
MORE:How To Grow Collard Greens
Calcium: 184 mg per 1 cup
A traditional soy food, tempeh is made by cracking and boiling dry soybeans, inoculating the cooked beans with a special fungus, and allowing the fungus to convert the beans into a chewy, flavorful food that's high in protein and calcium. Try substituting sliced, chopped, or crumbled tempeh for meat in any recipe. Marinate it overnight before cooking to boost the flavor even more.
Calcium: 214 mg per ½ cup (cooked)
This common wild plant contains the biggest calcium punch of any green vegetable. It's used as a spring tonic and as an all-around health-promoting herb in many cultures. Use gloves when harvesting to protect yourself from stings (don't worry, the stinging chemical is deactivated by cooking).
Calcium: 273 mg per 1 ounce
These tiny nutritional powerhouses are crammed with calcium and other minerals, especially copper and manganese. Enjoy sesame seeds in crunchy candies, add ground sesame seed paste (aka tahini) to hummus, or sprinkle the nutty seeds over Asparagus with Ginger + Garlic for extra flavor and nutrition.
Calcium: 861 mg per ½ cup
Tofu is made from soybeans, which are naturally high in calcium, and it gets an extra kick from the gypsum (aka calcium sulfate) that's used to change the milky cooked soybean liquid into chewy curds. The more water that gets pressed out of the curds, the firmer the tofu is and the more calcium it contains per cup, so firm tofu packs an astonishing amount of calcium, regular tofu about half as much, and soft or silken tofu about a quarter as much.
Video: Natural Foods With Calcium
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